Last weekend when I was at Windermere Secondary, Chef John Bishop talked about slow roasting tomatoes, and how wonderful they are on toast or in sandwiches. Over the course of the week I kept finding articles about this very thing-in a Jamie Oliver magazine, on various food blogs, and that was it-I just HAD to make my own. These open faced sandwiches are really delicious, and as spring turns into summer and you get the chance to pick up some produce at the farmer's market, I highly recommend that you try them.
My teenager loved the roasted tomatoes-the flavor becomes very concentrated, but is also balanced out nicely with the creamy avocado and salty cheese. We splurged and went with a high quality goat's feta, which made things extra delicious.
Adapted from Jamie's Recipe Yearbook 2010
4 plum or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
bunch of basil leaves
1 lemon, halved
3 ripe avocados
4 slices of sourdough bread
150 grams of feta cheese
4 handfuls of arugula (rocket)
To roast the tomatoes (which can be done earlier in the day or the night before)
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper to make your clean up easier. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place in your prepared pan, cut side up, and roast in the oven for about an hour and a half for the cherry tomatoes, more for the plum. I used plum tomatoes and roasted them closer to two hours, until they were almost browned a bit on top, sticky, and dried out.
Allow to cool to room temperature and put in the fridge if you are using them later.
When you want to make your sandwiches, pound up the basil and a pinch of salt with a morter and pestle until it forms a paste, then add some olive oil and squeeze 1/2 a lemon over top to loosen the mixture up a bit. I don't have a morter and pestle, so I gave it all a whiz in my food processor. The result was a little more chunky than I'm sure the original recipe intends, but it worked okay. Set aside.
Halve, peel, and scoop out the avocados into a bowl, then mash them gently. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper, then squeeze the juice from the other half of the lemon over top and mix together.
Toast the bread until it's just golden. Mine went a bit too hard-but you want it toasted enough so it can stand up to the toppings and not go completely soggy.
Spread the avocado paste over the toasted bread. Top with the roasted tomatoes-because I used plum tomatoes, I cut them in half and fit 4 pieces on each slice of bread. Then I put a small handful of arugula on top of the tomatoes, drizzled it all with a bit of the basil pesto, and topped with some feta.
This is a knife and fork sandwich, because as you eat it can become a little messy! Kevin and John both continually exclaimed as they ate how much they LOVED them. Now-my husband rarely ever raves about food, but he loved these, so that tells you how yummy and fresh they are.
Makes 4 sandwiches